Zhou Yihan the most successful player at the 20th Commonwealth Championships
Photo By: Umang Gajjar
2015 20th Commonwealth Championships (Click here to access this section)
Unbeaten throughout the whole of the Womenís Team event earlier in the tournament, when she guided Singapore to gold; Zhou Yihan maintained her unblemished record to win the Womenís Singles title at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Surat, India on Monday 21st December.
The top seed, on the concluding day of action, the 21 year old justified her exalted status by ending the hopes of the host nation.
Impressively at the semi-final stage, she beat Manika Batra, the no.3 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5), before securing the title at the final expense of Mouma Das, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-3); a player very much in form.
One round earlier, Mouma Das had caused an upset by overcoming Zhou Yihanís colleague, Li Ye, the no.2 seed, in a hard fought full distance seven games duel (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 1-11, 11-8, 11-7).
Success in the Womenís Singles event; earlier in the day in partnership with Lin Ye in the Womenís Doubles event and likewise occupying the no.1 seeded position in the competition, Zhou Yihan had struck gold.
Likewise, India was the country to feel the pain. At the final hurdle, the duo accounted for Manika Batra and Ankita Das, the no.2 seeds (11-6, 11-9, 11-9), having in the penultimate round ousted Mouma Das and Shamini Kumaresan, the no.3 seeds (3-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8).
In the opposite half of the draw, Manika Batra and Ankita Das had ended the aspirations of Singaporeís Pearlyn Koh and Yee Herng Hwee, the no.6 seeds (11-4, 11-2, 11-8).
Three titles, Zhou Yihan emerged the most successful player in the whole tournament and, in fact, remained unbeaten throughout the six day. The only defeat was one of a technical nature.
In the Mixed Doubles event she partnered Li Hu and as in all other events occupied the top seeded position, at the semi-final stage owing to illness Li Hu was forced to withdraw; thus the Singaporeans had to concede the contest in favour of Indiaís Soumyajit Ghosh and Mouma Das, the no.3 seeds.
A place in the final for Soumyajit Ghosh and Mouma Das but it was not to be gold; in the title deciding match they were beaten by colleagues, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Ankita Das, the no.4 seeds (11-7, 8-11, 15-13, 11-7).
Chen Feng Rejuvenated
Success for Singapore in the Womenís Singles event, there was also success for the south east Asia city state in the Menís Singles competition, with Chen Feng, the no.5 seed, rising to the challenge.
After having lost to both David McBeath (11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9) and Helshan Weerasinghe (7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9) in the Menís Team contest against England, an engagement that had cost Singapore a place in the final, it was a rejuvenated Chen Meng who was on duty as matters concluded in Surat.
Doused Indian Hopes
Just as with Zhou Yihan, he doused Indian hopes.
At the semi-final stage, he caused somewhat of an upset by beating Soumyajit Ghosh, the no.2 seed, in a seven games contest decided by the very narrowest of margins (11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9), before securing the title at the final expense of Amalraj Anthony, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7).
One round earlier, Amalraj Anthony had accounted for colleague Sanil Shetty (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7) to reserve his place in the final.
Full House for India
Disappointment for India in the Menís Singles event but in the Menís Doubles event, it was gold, silver and bronze.
Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai, the top seeds, secured the title beating Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Devesh Karia, the no.5 seeds in the final (5-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3).
At the semi-final stage Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai had beaten Sudhanshu Grover and Abhishek Yadav, the no.7 seeds (11-1, 12-10, 11-9, 11-2); Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Devesh Karia had ousted Amilraj Anthony and Sanil Shetty, the no.3 seeds (15-13, 11-4, 11-6).
Singapore and India ended the tournament as the leading nations.
Notably Singapore four gold and four bronze medals; for India it was three gold, six silver and seven bronze.
Meanwhile, the remaining medals were shared between England, Northern Ireland and Wales. England secured one silver and one bronze medal; for Northern Irehand and Wales it was one bronze apiece.